TEST TEAM NOTES
Designed in their own in-house design facility in Europe, the Raptor is CrazyFly’s freestyle / freeride high-performance twin-tip. Now a decade old, it features a traditional freestyle outline, relatively low locker line and a stiff flex pattern. Clean and simple in look, the board means business.
First impressions often last longest and the stiffness is immediately apparent (especially compared to the other boards on test this issue) from the get go. There’s actually more flex than previous models (apparently due to the new X carbon and multi-axial fiberglass layup) and it’s not uncomfortable thanks to the double concave underneath, but it’s still quite rigid; translating into unreal pop.
The relatively straight outline offers masses of grip and the Raptor cuts like an absolute beast, capable of holding down lots of power before exploding off the water. The power loads into the rail instantly rather than progressively, which is great for cleanly executed freestyle, although is perhaps a little unnerving for inexperienced freestylers.
The fairly locked-in ride feel means you need to ollie a little higher when popping to toe-side. Additionally, this isn’t the kind of board you’re going to skid around or ‘butter’ into carved turns with either, but the sheer amount of drive and grip through powered turns and when aiming for a kicker in strong winds is very impressive. Equally the ride is positive if you’re simply looking for good upwind performance and speed, but there are more comfortable options for just that.
Rapidly up to speed, the Raptor obviously goes upwind well and despite the straight outline isn’t a face sprayer. Thanks to the double concave it’s not just a rock hard freestyle tray either. If you’re coming off a really soft board you’ll find this bit hard in heavy waters, but get it out in flatter waters and the speed and response is a dream. Traction, grip, response and pop are all on offer in abundance and the Raptor can take any landings. Designed to work with boots too, the ‘V’ tip shape with pronounced channels that run into the bottom contours add to the overall feeling of grip and speed.
CrazyFly’s Hexa strap and pad system remains. Beautiful looking and certainly robust, they do take a bit of wearing in at first to soften up. Easy enough adjust in six directions, though if you have really small feet you may want to look at custom fitting a set you know you like. If you’ll be wearing boots though, these are easily accommodated.
Immaculately produced, the Raptor has been thoughtfully designed to offer a degree of comfort and user-friendliness which is not often seen in traditional freestyle boards. Light and responsive, there’s a great deal on offer to advanced freeriders or freestylers who wants unlimited grip, oodles of pop and precise control, particularly in flat water.
Impressive grip and incredible pop in a well thought-out, light weight design with outstanding build quality.
KW WOULD CHANGE
If you like a really soft, malleable strap and pad set up, you may find the Hexas a bit stiff. Easily changed though.
RAPTOR BALANCE POINTS
Build quality: 9
Fixtures and fittings: 9
Slider proof: Possibly…
Boots applicable: Yes
SIZES – 140 x 42 / 137 x 43 / 137 x 41 / 135 x 43 / 135 x 41 & 132 x 41cm
Here’s the official Raptor product video from CrazyFly